in the frigid morning
under warm covers and
blissful remnants of fading dreams.
Just this glorious moment:
The simple love I felt
As a child
A mother's care
A father's safety
A brother's company:
"I am a flower blooming in the desert--a ray of light in the wasteland."
The sheet rubs against my shins, confining
yet setting me free;
There is nothing else.
A memory of absent paradise:
In summer, my family slept downstairs.
We could afford only one air conditioner. It perched
in the window of our living room,
transfiguring downstairs into heaven
while the bedrooms above baked and suffocated.
Mother and father took the couches
Under cathedral windows
While we dragged our tiny, plastic
mattresses from upstairs and sprawled out
under the soft rumble
that emerged from round vents,
like engines of a starship
conveying us to a new world.
I had no fear of the dark.